There are a ton of new ways to access advice for all your investments—no matter how much money (or how little) you’ve been able to save. Maybe you’ve heard of the new so-called “robo-advisors” like Betterment, that offer you computer-generated portfolios that let you plug-and-play with your investments. I’m all for helping to make investing an easier process, I just don’t believe these online services should be called “advisors” because the name is misleading. It sounds like you’re getting highly personalized one-on-one advice, which you’re not. At all. What you’re getting are model portfolios. Well-known online brokerages like Vanguard and Schwab let you invest this way for practically nothing in terms of fees. These are smart online solutions aimed at the DIY investor, and they take a lot of the guess work out of deciding which stocks, bonds or ETF’s to hold based on factors like your age and your risk profile. Professional investment advisors also offer some truly robust software-generated solutions that solve very specific issues you may find challenging—- such as figuring out exactly how and when to start taking social security to maximize the benefits. Or finding out how long your money will last given your current income and spending patterns. These are remarkably smart software tools (at the high end) that professional investment advisors now offer. And again, for a pretty reasonable fee. Many financial advisors will charge a one-time fee along with a free “walk through.”
Here’s the problem for most people when it comes to keeping tabs on serious investments… you’re busy! Sometimes too busy to invest the time to really understand the outputs are only as good as the inputs, and let’s face it, Wall Street makes billions selling the idea that investments are too complicated for the average person. Really though, what I find is only about 1 in every 4 people is a true do-it-yourself investor. So many times the real challenge is when decisions must be made because something unexpected happens. Usually, it’s something emotional. A windfall from the death of a loved one, the sale of a business, a divorce, or questions about complicated employee stock options when your situation suddenly changes. In other words— big money decisions that you probably could deal with but may not want to deal with all on your own.
I want to help simplify the whole subject of finding great advice right when you need it most. That’s why I’m happy to announce that MoneyTrack will produce a special one-hour show for PBS stations to broadcast nationally in late 2016. On the show, we’re going to break down and explain step-by-step, all the different ways you can access really good advice to make sure you’re money lasts as long as you do! This upcoming MoneyTrack special is titled, Money For Life. On this show, Jack Gallagher and I will zoom into how most Americans make their money last throughout retirement. Stay tuned and I promise to keep you updated once we get into production.
Speaking of MoneyTrack, I’ve been hearing from viewers who want to watch us online so we’re now uploading the full episodes of MoneyTrack’s previous seasons on our YouTube channel.
My last update is to tell you we’re having big success with our soft-launch of WealthRamp. This is my new website where I will match you to the right kind of financial advisor. I select each advisor who is on our platform, and right now we’re making great matches in two regions — New England and Northern California. Head to WealthRamp.com and check it out! If you’re looking for an advisor in any other areas, just email me personally right here. I promise to keep you in the loop on all things related to WealthRamp. This is a total start-up and it’s fun to share this journey with you, because you are the one’s who asked me to create an easier way to find and connect with vetted advisors.
I ‘m always available and love hearing from you.
With Best Wishes for a wonderful holiday season!